Tecmo gags Itagaki

Former Team Ninja boss and Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden creator Tomonobu Itagaki ordered by court not to talk to press before Tecmo lawsuit begins.

When Tomonobu Itagaki quit his job at Japanese developer Tecmo at the beginning of the month, he didn't go quietly. The Ninja Gaiden II director released a statement telling the world that he was leaving due to unpaid bonuses and would also be suing the company to reclaim said bonuses, which he claimed amounted to some $1.4 million.

Tecmo confirmed his departure, stating that it would "let the court decide" the verdict and added that popular game franchises, including Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden, would be continuing without Itagaki.

Yesterday, the Japanese press reported that a class-action law suit had been filed at the Tokyo District Court by two other Tecmo employees, on behalf of all 300. The lawsuit was for unpaid overtime wages totaling $77,000 (presumably per person).

Now, in the latest chapter in the saga, Tecmo has slapped Itagaki with a four-point gag order, reports Famitsu. As part of the gag order, Itagaki is not allowed to disclose or leak information regarding Tecmo's game software, sales, development or any other company secrets.

Further, using newspapers, magazines, and the Internet to criticize company software and company employees is forbidden, and Itagaki is also barred from obstructing the company's business through slanderous remarks to third parties. Lastly, he cannot accept interviews regarding Tecmo or talk to the press about the company.

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159 comments
pigilikepoe
pigilikepoe

This Reminds me of when Tecmo made that Tetris game without even owning the rights to it. I reckon they got a lot of dirty little secrets.

pcmacro
pcmacro

lol that guy is a women harassing, tekken bashing douche. His picture says enough

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

man this is just getting crazier and crazier day by day.

kasmi
kasmi

well...policies are policies when it comes to companies.. itagaki might as well shut-up for the mean time until the court decides other wise he might get accused and make tables turn-around..

Chris875
Chris875

Tecmo's success was a result of Itagaki's involment, as well as the other talented individuals actually making the games. Apparently Tecmo doesn't value that talent considering the fact that 300 employees have come forward claiming unpaid wages. I hope Itagaki starts his own studio, he'll have no problem finding a publisher.

dvdragon
dvdragon

I'd have to say this could either be a really good thing (new life in the franchises) or really bad (they devolve into total crap and don't recover). Most likely....bad... :(

Raisuke
Raisuke

I can't wait to see how great DOA and NG will evolve without Itegaki holding their potential back believing his games are so perfect that they don't need to change in the sequels.

UnrealPro
UnrealPro

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

cooldude03
cooldude03

Itagaki is Tecmo. Without Itagaki Tecmo is nothing. Their big titles DOA and Ninja Gaiden are only successful do to Itagaki's creative thinking. Those franchises are due for failure without Itagaki. Tecmo's drop in stock after the departure of Itagaki is just the beginning. Even with Itagaki's gag order people already know Tecmo's screwed.

jknight5422
jknight5422

HAH. Serves him right. It's pretty unprofessional for Itagaki to blast Tecmo like that anyway. Which is probably why the rest of the Tecmo team has been incited to riot about lost wages. One thing that is screwed up is that he sunk his own game in Japan. Since people there steer clear of scandalous products & complications associated with them.

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

Sound's like they let him leave, and only then realized how much he "knew" about them.

edhc44
edhc44

@ crunchb3rry Like he couldn't create his own studio...

edhc44
edhc44

I sure wouldn't want a guy like Itagaki on my wrong side...

ColdGen
ColdGen

Sounds like Tecmo are feeling heat!

Pyro77
Pyro77

I predict Tecmo agreeing to a settlement as quickly and as quietly as possible to try to save face. Both public opinion and company stocks are gonna take bad hits as it is already.

dulun19
dulun19

secrets?? oooo.. i know someone will pay big bucks for it!!!

V-Nine
V-Nine

...ooo now were getting somwhere, where is TMZ(show) when you need them...

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

Well that would make sense if techmo had a lot of bad skeletons they want to hide.

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

This guy won't comply. He's a megalomaniac. The likely result is Itagaki just disappears after the court rewards him what he's asking for. After leaving Tecmo, I don't see any company wanting to collaborate with him because of his attitude and ego. After all, this is the guy acting as if he "owns" a preexisting franchise.

Mystearical
Mystearical

Sure Itagaki has a big mouth - and I do believe this gag order is in Tecmo's best interest... but man it would be interesting to listen to his remarks and *** talk... Ah well - pretty harsh order though

mrklorox
mrklorox

Yeesh... I could understand not allowing him to divulge software or company secrets, but not allowing Itagaki to publicly speak of his past at Tecmo seems ridiculous. Without the backing of Tecmo, I doubt his next company will be as commercially successful as Team Ninja.

vietboi89
vietboi89

I really dont care for Itagaki, it seems he loves the attention, fame and money but I don't really have much faith in Tecmo either since they don't seems very honest about the situation. I don't think there are any sides to take I only care about the titles that are in jeopardy. We don't need Itagaki since NG and DOA don't belong to him and I look forward to a new guy picking up the series and make something different from it since Itagaki doesnt stray far from his own way. As long as the series don't take a turn for the worst or disappear completely then we'll be ok.

Timstuff
Timstuff

"Itagaki is kindof a dik anyways...." Tru dat. I actually think that Tecmo may be better off without him, however there's still that whole debacle about the unpaid overtime to their employees, which is in their best interest to settle out of court or lose more face with the public. One thing's for sure though, a gag order is going to be hard for someone with as big a mouth as Itagaki's to honor. Don't be surprised if he ends up facing legal penalties for violating it, because he doesn't know how to act professionally. I don't expect that to change in regards to his dealings with the legal system.

dn3datomiced
dn3datomiced

Dude, IsmirZone, he and Team Ninja ARE TECMO. Without the DOA and Ninja Gaiden series, they're going to be severly dead in the water. Things like Tecmo Bowl and Fatal Frame are not going to save them.

IsmirZone
IsmirZone

Tomonobu Itagaki has problems with himself. He thinks the he is Tecmo...for someone who is Japanese that is disrespectful on his part to announce his quitting the way he did. His perverted DOA franchise that was in impressive way back and Ninja Gaiden is works of art to his credit, but forgot that none of it would have gotten to where it is without Tecmo and the fans that supported his projects. Now don’t get me wrong about the claims he makes, but as Tecmo said let the court decide that..

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

Itagaki does have a big mouth and loves the spotlight. Tecmo knows this, hence why they felt a gag order was necessary. I mean if any of you guys owned a company and fired someone that knew your secrets, who could potentially tell everyone out of spite and greed, then you'd put a gag order on him too. I'm not defending Tecmo, but still, they're a business trying to make money and businesses will fight in court to keep that money.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

They will sue him if he releases info. They have legal right which is the sad part. However I hope god is itagaki's side. unpaid bonuses is a bigger crime.

meta_foxx278
meta_foxx278

Isn't Tecmo in enugh trouble already? I mean, what's to stop the ones that are suing them now from releasing that sort of information? They can't protect themselves on this one. Somebody other than Itagaki is going to go down on them hardcore somewhere down the road, and it won't be pretty when it does happen.

aliko
aliko

Meh greedy bastards. The guys who do all the work should get enough pay!

pleasurengineer
pleasurengineer

Shouldn't we be allowed to know of corporate abuse of employees. Why are businesses given such an advantage. It's not as if company technical secrets are being divulged. Congratulations Tecmo, you have yourself a pristine business with an army of faceless minions toiling in obscurity to generate your profits! Greed! Tasteless.

PullTheTricker
PullTheTricker

Itakagi is talented, he makes great games and thats what counts for me. Its a shame his career will end this way. I hope he starts a new development team. Just like Jeff Gerstman did with GiantBomb. There is always hope and a future awaiting ahead of you.

saber262
saber262

and the drama continues.

Lestater
Lestater

OMFG, another child labor scandal?!

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Tecmo is apparently one of the worst developers ever. Gag orders are fairly standard when lawsuits like these are involved, but it's pretty obvious they have something to hide.

Disciple_Gamer
Disciple_Gamer

Gag order. Is Tecmo stupid. They fired a ninja. Itagaki does his work in the shadows.

zeus_gb
zeus_gb

It's not the first company to slap a former employee with a gag order and they won't be the last either. If they promised to pay these people then they should honor their promise.

Gamewako
Gamewako

Itagaki is kindof a dik anyways....

kindredmachine
kindredmachine

ChickenHounk911 - ROTFL!!!! I actually laughed at that sunglasses comment.. ROTFL!!!

MuscleCarMan
MuscleCarMan

Tecmo is actually a ninja training grounds, or so i hear. Rumor also has it, you need enormous breasts and more blood than the average human being has to even be considered a member. Talk about tough. Get the word out Itagaki!

AZisBack
AZisBack

Yeah I don't know if Itagaki has the ability to shut up.

ChickenHounk911
ChickenHounk911

Game time! Ready?..... Guess which company is going to nab this guy..... P.S. One of Tecmo's secrets is.... they FORCE their employees to wear sunglasses ALL THE TIME! lol

Ice_man_1985
Ice_man_1985

slap in the face, that what should they get.

Spartan1017
Spartan1017

wow, now i really want to know what's going down over there..

dewwy
dewwy

A company doesn't file such an extensive gag order unless that employee needs to be gagged. Makes me really wonder just what goes on in the Tecmo studio.

SPANNER-MAN
SPANNER-MAN

Wow, if they did all that. Then something is definately going down.

VirtuaCast
VirtuaCast

Itagaki already told me Tecmo secrets. Too late lol